COVID-19 impact on Canada Immigration and Visa applications

COVID-19 impact on Canada Immigration and Visa applications

Tejaswini Panigrahi Tejaswini Panigrahi
[Published 26 Oct, 2021 | 01:21 PM]
About Author - 8 min read

Canada immigration as well as Visa applications including Canada PR Visa has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Every decision at the policy level is impacted by the immigration department’s capability to cope up with this impact.  

IRCC - Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has launched several policy amendments and fresh programs. This is even as it aims to achieve the yearly immigration targets to the optimum capacity amidst the pandemic.  

From the beginning of 2021, IRCC has considered Canada PR Visa applications only from PNP and CEC streams. The rationale is prioritizing the Permanent Residence transition of individuals already present in Canada. This is because they are less impacted by the pandemic. 

Nevertheless, it will be possible for IRCC to consider FSTP and FSWP applicants once the impact of the pandemic is contained. Canada has made remarkable progress in this direction, as well as its Vaccination drive, is scheduled to conclude in September. It can be anticipated that IRCC returns to the Express Entry all-program draw after this. 

Meanwhile, IRCC also launched a provisional public policy consisting of 6 new immigration streams. This is for critical workers and overseas graduates. The English-speaking Overseas Graduates category exhausted its cap of 40,000 applications in just over 24 hours. The applications for Francophone and vital workers have been lower predictably. But an uptick in these streams can be expected in the forthcoming months.

Updating or checking with IRCC an application in progress

Owing to the impact of COVID-19, IRCC is: 

  • Facing delays in receipt of applications.
  • Unable to process the applications usually. 
  • Unable to offer exact processing times. 

If IRCC has received your application, it will send you the application number by email or mail when: 

  • It has ensured that your application is inclusive and compliant. 
  • It commences the application’s processing.

You can check your application’s status on the Immigration Department’s website once you receive the application number. This can be done in a couple of ways based on whether you have filed the application on paper or online.

Updating your application

IRCC will contact you through email, mail, or your account if it requires extra information for processing your application. If in case you have doubts regarding the request by IRCC, you can: 

  • Send your query to IRCC through their Web form; or
  • Clarify your query through your digital account. You can upload the question in a document instead of the document that has been asked from you. 

You must ensure that your contact details are updated. In this way, the communication from IRCC will be delivered to you appropriately. It is not possible for IRCC to inform you of the exact processing time for your application. Processing times are diverse as every application is unique. It can offer you an estimation based on the type of your application.

Canada PR Visa applications under process 

If you have not received a formal letter from the IRCC informing you regarding the final verdict of your application, this means it is under process. This is applicable even if your online account’s status is ‘approved’. The letter asks you to offer your passport or photos for COPR. 

You will not receive the letter if you are not exempt from the travel curbs or if your documents cannot be issued. IRCC will itself contact you if in case additional information is required for processing your application. 

Supporting documents for an in-progress application

IRCC no more offers extra time by default for sending documents. It will contact you seeking the extra documents. This can take a couple of months. You will get 30 days to submit the documents from the date of contact by IRCC.

Collating your documents

You must start collecting the documents even before IRC seeks them. This is as collating the documents can be time-consuming. You must verify the last email received from IRCC for confirming the required documents. 

Traveling to another nation or city to collate the supporting documents must be avoided. IRCC will consider extending your deadline if you possess a practical explanation showing that you are impacted by COID-19. 

If you receive your ECA or results for the language test electronically or by email, this will be accepted as a part of your application. 

Withdrawing your Canada PR Visa application

You can inform the IRCC through Webform if you are impacted by the travel curbs and wish to withdraw your PR application. You will receive a refund if: 

  • Your application is withdrawn before 24 hours of its submission. 
  • IRCC has not started processing your application.

If your Canada PR application is already approved 

Your Canada PR Visa and COPR are still valid if you are overseas out of Canada. You can now travel to Canada if you have a valid COPR and PR Visa with effect from 21 June 2021. 

Also, you must:

  • Be arriving in Canada for settling permanently. You cannot enter Canada and exit for staying in another nation even temporarily. 
  • Demonstrate that you can get quarantined for 14 days 

You must clear the health check done by the Airline before boarding if you are traveling by airplane. You will not be allowed to board the flight if you display COVID-19 symptoms.

Canada begins relaxing travel curbs 

Gradually, Canada has started relaxing the majority of its travel curbs. This includes eased restrictions by the end of June and from the beginning of August 2021. More curbs will be eliminated from September 7th. 

Generally, the following can now enter Canada: 

  • Approved migrants
  • Overseas students 
  • Temporary overseas workers
  • Family members 
  • Fully-vaccinated US citizens 

In June end, it was announced that all those who have a valid COPR are qualified to complete their migration landing in Canada. From July, quarantine requirements for totally vaccinated entitled travelers have been relaxed. The hotel quarantine policy has also been withdrawn. 

Canada has started welcoming totally vaccinated US tourists from 9th August. Overseas tourists from the remaining nations who are totally vaccinated will be accepted from 7th September. 

Canada’s ability to endorse more normal travel will greatly alter the immigration calculus of the Government of Canada. The Safety and Public Health Departments and the IRCC will then be able to strongly consider accepting an increased number of overseas nationals.

Best Canada Immigration Consultancy

Do you have any queries about the status of the processing of your Canada PR Visa application? Get in touch with Nationwide Visas now for all your doubts or any assistance for Canada PR Visa application processing.


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